Passing The Persistence Test

Sales is not a quick path to riches for all of us, but it certainly can lead us there. Some people take to it like a duck to water while others seem to slowly trudge along. Are the successful ones just having a run of good luck or possess exceptional skills? Maybe, but there has to be more to it than that. It’s not so much a matter of what they have, but what is it that you are lacking? There is a very good chance that you don’t invest enough in persistence. Napoleon Hill once suggested something along the lines that great success is given to those who pass the persistence test. In other words, those who work through their fears and failures are eventually rewarded.


The persistence test, like so many other tests, is one that most of us want to skip. It is a difficult test because it requires both hard work and a willingness to make mistakes. If the definition of insanity is doing something over and over again with the same results, then ignorance means doing nothing at all. Persistence falls somewhere in the middle. It is your ability to achieve your goals by following your plans while overcoming obstacles. And there will be plenty of obstacles in sales. If you want to be successful then you must pass the persistence test. Here are 5 tips to help you with this test. 


  1. Have a goal – Simple enough, but have you really identified in great detail what your desired outcome is? It can’t be a vague vision of yourself sitting on a beach somewhere with bags of money. It needs a number and a timeline.
  2. Have a plan – You can’t apply persistence to an idea without a plan. It just doesn’t work that way. I understand that telling you that you need a plan isn’t anything new to you, but if you aren’t successful, then I suggest this is one of the places you look first.
  3. Avoid shortcuts – When the plan is hard, shortcuts are tempting. There are times when they make sense, but shortcuts usually lead to shortfalls when it comes to your goals. You cannot be afraid of putting in the hard work. Shortcuts counter persistence which means you are trying to avoid the persistence test. Don’t do that.
  4. No more procrastinating – Inaction breeds inaction and delivers no rewards other than the certainty that you can play it safe and stay where you are. There is a difference between careful planning and prioritizing instead of moving forward into the unknown. That’s what successful people have to do.
  5. Permission to make mistakes – You are going to make mistakes along the way in the sales. Some of these mistakes will be painful and perhaps expensive, but they are unavoidable. Persistence is all about confronting these mistakes, learning from them, and moving forward. If you do not allow yourself to make mistakes, you will paralyze your plans and goals for success.

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